The musical reconstructions industry keeps gathering pace, but few works have attracted as much attention as Mahler''s 10th Symphony. Joe Wheeler (who died in 1977) was a brass-playing British civil servant with a passion for Mahler. This completion (itself in an edition by the conductor here, Robert Olson) uses the leaner orchestration of the composer''s later years. But does it sound Mahlerian? Certainly more so than Remo Mazzetti''s 1997 version, but neither caps Deryck Cooke''s acute sense of authentic detail and color in his legendary edition.
Still, this is a recommendable release--at its bargain price. The string sound takes the ear--impressively full, if sometimes a notch too sweet. This raises again the questions of whether Mahler''s manic side needs pointing up, and how far performances of the 10th have to drive home his sense of impending death and the tragedy of his wife''s unfaithfulness. It''s a matter of taste. The best buy remains Simon Rattle''s Berlin Philharmonic performance. --Andrew Green
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